For anyone on the fence about upgrading RAM...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MegaMillions, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. MegaMillions macrumors regular

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    #1
    I just upgraded my August 2006 mac pro from 2GB to 6GB of ram, and the difference in speed is unbelievable! Before upgrading, most tasks (even small ones) would provoke clicking/thinking from the startup disk, and there would be considerable lag for any action taken while many apps were open.

    After the upgrade, I can open up dozens of apps simultaneously, and they will all be up and ready to go within 15 seconds. Not only that, but after they finish opening, without skipping a beat, i'll go and do some intensive command, or open up another large app, and it will do it practically instantly, with NO clicking sounds from the hard drive.

    Whereas before the upgrade, the hard drive was constantly clicking and thinking and processing what to do, it is now silent 90% of the time, and all the tasks that previously it would go *clickity-clickity-clickity* to, now happen silently and faster.

    So if you're on the fence about upgrading RAM, do it. It makes a difference!
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    Yes, it seems people have forgotten that your processor is only as good as its ram.
     
  3. Tower-Union macrumors 6502

    Tower-Union

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    #3
    I'm really glad to hear this. . . RAM's been on my list for a while, but I'm thinking of dumping in ram and a new video card sooner. . . Heh, 100.5 hours this pay period, should help realize that dream :D
     
  4. ethen macrumors regular

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    #4
    After all, computer consists of more than just a CPU :p
     
  5. Big Boss Man macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2006
    #5
    2GB on a Mac Pro seems kind of underwhelming. Why use such a beast of a machine and then starve it of memory?
     
  6. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Fill all those slots for even a bigger boost. I have 8x1gb in my 2006 macpro and it purs right along. Probably would have put more but been adding more to my 2008 mac pro. Can't wait for snow leopard to see if it truly does what they say it does. Just have to save up for a better graphics card now.
     
  7. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #7
    Yeah, 4GB is barely enough for itunes, mail, and safari. 8GB is much better! At 8GB and above your OS actually has room to do what it was designed to do. I have 12GB and I'm already wanting to make it 16GB. :D When 4GB sticks become reasonable I will go to 32GB - no question about it.
     
  8. hehejames macrumors member

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    #8
    That's exactly what I wanted to ask him as well! :)
     
  9. hehejames macrumors member

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    #9
    No ****!!! :eek:
     
  10. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #10
    I don't believe it. For just those apps, 2GB is enough, 4GB is plenty. Anything over that is just overkill.

    If your statement is true, then all of the MBs, MBPs, iMacs, and Mac Minis with 2GB of RAM would be sufferring endlessly.
     
  11. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #11
    It depends on what you're using. Financially speaking, if you can afford the Mac Pro, 4 or 8 GB of RAM should be easy to purchase.
     
  12. mward333 macrumors 6502a

    mward333

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    #12
    It definitely depends on what you're doing. A blanket statement like "more RAM is better" would be misleading to someone who didn't know about the role of RAM in their computer. It should be noted that many users will not take advantage of the RAM in their current configuration, so these users might not benefit at all from having more RAM!
     
  13. hehejames macrumors member

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    #13
    If someone who doesn't know the benefits of having "more ram" is almost always better... why the hell do they have a Mac Pro? Unbelievable!!!
     
  14. mward333 macrumors 6502a

    mward333

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    #14
    Well, Mac Pro's are pretty common, but sometimes people seem to overestimate their need for RAM. It's not always true, but just something to consider.... just my two cents for the discussion.

    As an extreme example, many people would not benefit from increasing their RAM from 8 GB to 16 GB. Many users--including those with Mac Pros--will simply never utilize more than 8 GB of RAM. It's just an example.
     
  15. redking31591 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2008
    #15
    Yeah, I have a unibody macbook bottom end, and I can open every app I have installed including aperture, office, iwork, like 6 different web browsers and my computer doesn't bat an eye.
     
  16. hehejames macrumors member

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    #16
    Agreed. But, not with 2GB!

    Even the new MacBook Pro's come with 4GB standard and can be upgraded to 8GB.
     
  17. mward333 macrumors 6502a

    mward333

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    #17
    That's exactly my point. That's an excellent illustration!
     
  18. mward333 macrumors 6502a

    mward333

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    #18
    Admittedly, 2 GB is a relatively small amount of RAM for today's apps and many of today's users. I absolutely agree with you about that.
     
  19. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #19
    This might imply that the intricate workings of OS X, it's various caching systems, and etc. are escaping your understanding. ;)
     
  20. OZMP macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Yup, i want to go to 32 from 5 :p

    Also, the biggest difference i ever noticed was going from the OEM 7200.8 HDD too a 7200.11 HDD, I now have multiples, They boot quick, launch apps quick, are bench tested to read/write fast and I see the difference when moving files around compared to moving things to the one old drive I still have.
     
  21. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #21
    It implies exactly the opposite: you do not understand what you're seeing in Activity Monitor or in Unix in general. I have run over 40 Oracle databases connected to various SANs on one machine with 32GB of memory as the Unix admin and DBA. I don't see how OS X would be much different than that so why don't you elaborate on it more?

    I would check here first.

    You specifically said:

    Those 3 applications will not consume anywhere near 4GB of RAM. I run those on my Dell Mini with 2GB of RAM all the time and it is nowhere near slow. If 4GB were barely enough, my machine would be dreadfully slow. Additionally redking31591 above tested this on a base uMBP with no issue.

    If your statement is true, then I don't see why anyone would want to purchase a Mac and use OS X since you'd have to max out the memory in any system you bought. Your statement means Apple has done a poor job of coding their applications.

    It seems more likely that you like having a large amount of RAM for bragging rights. If that's the case, so be it; there's nothing wrong with that. But, making statements such as your own that simply aren't true is not the way to do it.

    EDIT: It appears I went off on a rant here. My apologies; that was not intended, but I just cannot see the justification in your statements. :)
     
  22. Dreamail macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I think it will depend on the amount of your data and not solely on the applications themselves.

    My Mail database is 2.5GB with 20,000+ emails gathered over the last 15 years (including lots of emails with images) and Mail is dreadfully slow on my machine.
    My iTunes database holds 9,000+ songs and is 240GB (all in Apple Lossless) and it is also dreadfully slow.
    Safari 4 with 10+ tabs, each showing some Flash animations in ads and such is really not that fast either.

    Those 3 would easily fill up 2GB of working RAM, no?
    4GB would definitely seem better in my case.
     
  23. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #23
    Speed can be limited by a number of factors, including memory. For the RAM size, you tell me; there's no way I can venture to guess what that particular setup would consume. Fire them up and see what the RAM usage is.

    Just because the dataset is large doesn't mean the application is caching all that in memory. It's not a computational model here, it is simply data stored on disk. A similar concept is that you may 1.5 TB of data on your drives, but your machines isn't pinning all that in memory.

    I've had mail clients using Outlook and 10GB mail databases run on machines with 1 GB of RAM. I've also seen the same with Lotus Notes/Domino.
     
  24. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #24
    Activity Monitor has nothing to do with it. OS X will scale it's cache and RAM usage per application in different environments. So all Activity Monitor is going to show you is what's happening within the current environment. The more RAM you give to OSX the more efficient and faster it and the applications behave. All I meant was that ignorance of this fact might lead someone to believe that 2 or 4 GB was "overkill" when in fact it's actually not enough.

    After a few hours of browsing and with 8 or 10 tabs open my Safari can easily use 6GB and occasionally hits the 8GB mark. This is in a 12GB system. In a 4GB system which I also operated, Safari alone (in combination the OS X's caching for it specifically) can use 95% of the available RAM and start to produce page-outs 30min or an hour into an aggressive session of surfing.

    My iTunes is similar but less dynamic. With only 50,000 songs it wants about 2GB to 3GB to operate smoothly through all operations (searches, group renaming, sorting, subscribing, etc.). And all my songs are MP3s at between 160 and 320 Kb/s - so rather small.

    We're already up to 8GB just with those two. Something like PhotoShop can use up 95% of your RAM no matter how much you have installed. Of course there's a trade-off between how much you're willing to spend on memory and how much lag you're willing to put up with. 4GB isn't too bad but as I said before - just barely cuts it with the specified applications. 2GB is pretty ridiculous and with just those apps running, will make your $3000 dollar machine feel like a $500 PC. So, it's worth it to me and should be to most folks, to spend $160 on an 8GB upgrade kit that will allow you to enjoy your $3000 machine as it was intended. Otherwise, buy a mini and use it - that's what they're for and you won't be paying $2200 more for the SAME experience. See?


    What does that have to with anything being discussed? Different machine, different platform, doesn't really apply.


    Right. That's what I said before. I was trying to show you or tell you why.


    Naw, Although I did mention that I had 12GB I don't think that's enough to brag about. Maybe 64GB or 128GB would be tho. 16GB is extremely common now. 8GB more-so. 16GB new only costs about $320 - really nothing to brag about.


    I think they're not true for you because you haven't tried it. So you have nothing to compare with. That was the real intent of my post. Not to look like some idiot-savant or brag about my system; but rather to offer you and others reading on a real comparison in testimonial form which can be backed up with documented facts about the system we're talking about here: OS X, Mac Pro.

    Eh, NP. I do the same thing sometimes. I used to believe strongly that if my counter-questioning wasn't at least a little provocative then the questions or concerns wouldn't get addressed as thoroughly. I still believe that but just a lot less strongly. :)


    Yup, another perfect example and case-in-point.. And 8GB added to the system would be even better! Trust me. (famous last words :D) It's so cheap now there's really no reason why not to. $160 ~ $170 is the going rate for 4x2GB sticks. Well worth it in my experienced opinion!
     
  25. pprior macrumors 65816

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #25
    That's exactly what is happening.

    As someone who also went from 2GB to 4GB with a mac pro and saw a HUGE improvement in system speed, then 4gb to 8GB and saw a less impressive bump and then finally up to 16GB I will tell you that if you don't believe going above 2GB will make a big difference, you are just plain wrong.

    I would NEVER buy a computer with less than 4GB of ram. Period.
     

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